BURBS 'What's The Spell?'
1999. Online Rock Magazine
of Gig. The Waterside Centre, Newbury. 3rd July 1999.
can't recall EXACTLY when it happened but somewhere in the last
3 weeks Flume got into my bloodstream and are showing no signs of
vacating. I think it was when I ploughed through me pile of demos
looking for music to air at the historical MK BURBs Live gig. I
discovered Flume's track "On My Own" and included it on
the big screen PA rock mix slots I made. At that point I liked the
Flume track just as much as Turbo Visor, two fast paced power pop
tunes that were really great. Then, one day, I came to make the
play list for "BURBs Too!" (Our, hopefully, forthcoming
CD compilation) and included Flume's "On My Own". These
were the good old days when I had a nice big, powerful Peugeot 405.
I went out listening to "BURBs Too!" in the car and that's
when it must have happened. "On My Own" is a brilliant
driving power pop/rock song that is specifically written with driving
in mind (or so I'd have thought, surely it must be?). Then, my company
gave me a diesel escort (I refuse to give it a capital e) and the
track is much faster and more powerful than the bloody car is!!
So, Flume - "On My Own", bloody marvellous and my all-time
favourite BURB track, at the moment. Anyway, Brad 'n' Lee from REAMER
wanted to come too so we all gets in the escort and head off to
Newbury at a very modest pace (and I was thrashing the nuts off
the shit heap!). Nick (Flume drummer) had said
to me that it was not exactly a high profile gig but I'd nagged
him that it would have to be a Saturday night for me to travel from
Hitchin and back. The Waterside is the local Youth & Community
spot for Newbury town centre. Nice little venue really, good stage
with good capacity and a small bar selling cheap (and weak) cans
of booze. Some lurvely birds hanging about! It took a bit of time
to suss out that Bob (Flume Guitarist/Singer) was with one of them
and the barman was sorting out the other! Damn. (Nice one Bob. ;-)
Anyway, a local band called Kyhmera (I hope) did a 35-40 minute
set of covers. The thing about Kyhmera is the young lad on lead
guitar. 11 years old and, according to Brad, technically far superior
than he is! Apparently he's sponsored by a PA company and has only
been playing a year! Being a shite journalist I don't know his name
or the PA company although I'd think it may be Peavey? (What a dunce).
I introduced myself to Flume half way through this set after making
sure they were actually Flume. I'd made a complete knob of myself
earlier that evening by saying that I was on 'the guest list' only
to be told that they didn't have a 'guest list' (in a way that implied
I was a wanker trying to get in for free - well, I suppose she had
a point there!). Anyway, had a chat with the Flume boys before they
went up to do their thang and yet again, a thoroughly nice bunch
of blokes. It's amazing how all the really good bands contain thoroughly
decent chaps. Flume kicked off their set with a sound that made
Lee instantly get my attention and say, 'they're a good band Barry'
(yeah, like I know Lee, that's why I just drove 120 miles to come
and see them). What Lee meant, I think, is that Flume sound so complete,
pumping and driving that you'd expect two guitarists and bass to
achieve the sound. I've always had a thing for a three piece band
after having been a lifetime Jam devotee. I always refuse to attempt
to musically review a band's live performance; if I have to I'll
have a go from a CD but not live. I've never been anything close
to a musician myself so it's not for me to say. All I can say about
Flume is that they sound bloody great! One thing I realised about
them is that no one member stands out, at all. This is because they
are all equally bloody fantastic at what they do. Bob gives us the
full sounding power-pop-rock riffs whilst also providing the great
sounding vocals. Nick is a technically superb drummer that obviously
loves his playing as much as everybody in the room does. Ollie stands
in the corner of the stage and slaps his bass like Nostradamus really
should be listened to when he said the world's ending tomorrow (literally).
So there they all were, being superb, enjoying themselves and making
a noise that could challenge The Jam and (in my humble opinion)
kick their Oxford counterparts Supergrass into next week (whenever
you may be reading this). I can't remember much about
the set, just the two tracks I know about through having their demo
CD: "Some Time" and the pop-tastic "On My Own".
Soon, as "Some Time" started I realised how good they
are at re-creating their studio sound, live. I have seen some BURB
bands that just can not sound the same as their demos; Flume can,
if they want to. Patiently waiting for my current anthem to come
on, I took some more piccies, having a nightmare waiting for the
lighting to be bright for a good photo whilst being paranoid everyone
was looking at me. Then one track suddenly slowed down and BOOM!
"On My Own" had started! Wey-hey! Here we go lads - I
was singing along as loud as I could. I know the song inside out,
upside down now and it was a real buzz watching the band play it
in this small community centre. I bought another CD (even though
I've got one) and got the lads to sign it (I'm not silly, I know
a good thing when I see one). I even bought one for Brad n Lee but
they're both too much superstars themselves, naturally, to ask for
autographs. Still, never mind I'll lend you both a tenner one day,
lads! Brilliant, I would have travelled 240 miles to see this band.
Flume, I was there. Thanks Guys, see you soon!